Several factors deem a webinar unsuccessful: endless gatherings, unprepared hosts, chaotic presentations, and lack of relevant information. Instead of bringing value, they show poor time management skills, leading to Zoom fatigue or general exhaustion.
You, as a presenter, have a crucial role to play in how the webinar will go. So here are the five rules top webinar hosts abide by to create valuable online gatherings.
Five rules from top webinar hosts:
Great webinars start before the meeting.
Leverage the elements known before the live event to save time during the webinar: date & time, speaker(s), team member(s), maybe even some of the participants.
Send resources before thegathering. Let your participants have access to documents, videos and presentations even before the webinar starts so they can have an overall idea about what to expect.
Make it obvious. Help your audience get to the core of information. If it’s a video, write the exact minute when the relevant information is shared. If it’s an article — highlight the paragraphs with critical elements.
Set the spotlight on your presenters. Present them in as much detail as possible, so your audience can get to know them.
Assign assistant roles. You will need a team of people to help you manage the technical aspects, be present in chat, or even replace you in extreme cases.
Mute everyone at once. This way, you avoid the unpleasant situation where a late joiner forgets to mute their microphone, distracting you and everybody else.
Solicit questions in advance. This way, you have time to go over the questions and form eloquent answers or check facts. Also, if necessary, you can adapt the webinar to answer the most asked questions.
These may seem small things, but they can make a huge difference. Also, by doing every small thing you can think of in advance, you’ll be less stressed or nervous during the webinar because you know you’re prepared.
2. Great webinars have a clear structure.
Having a clear-set goal ensures you get to the destination. Knowing precisely what you want to discuss and having all the resources ready will help you stay on track.
Sessions allows you to create the meeting’s Agenda and save it as a template. Anytime you need it in the future, you import it and adapt it according to that gathering’s specific needs.
Not wasting your audience’s time and energy is critical in a large webinar!
3. Great webinars deliver top-quality content.
The presence of online courses and webinars has multiplied in the last months. But the difference between a professional and an amateur is in the quality of the content they deliver. Here’s what you should keep in mind:
Inform. Let everyone know what the structure of the webinar will be. They’ll know what to expect, when to expect it.
Ask for feedback. To deliver quality content, ask your audience for feedback on the information and you as a presenter to improve your following webinars.
Use various media. Avoid Zoom fatigue or plain boredom and keep things interesting. Take advantage of other video-conferencing platforms like Sessions which has a lot of tools integrated: Miro, Slido, Mentimeter, Twitch and many more. Switch between methods of information delivery, so people stay invested and interested.
Focus on diversity and use it to your advantage.
4. Great webinars are not a host show.
Remember that the webinar’s goal is to bring value into people’s lives. It’s not about you. With that in mind, this is what you should pay attention to:
Be prepared. Invest time in creating a clear template for your webinar. Time and attention are minimal. If your audience gave you theirs, use it wisely and respectfully.
Know your audience and know your materials. Tailor your explanations and examples so your audience can grasp the information better.
“I don’t know.” It’s ok not to be sure of everything. Instead of giving incorrect information, it’s better to let your participants know you’ll study the issue and revert with answers.
Pay attention to the little details that can make your webinar great or not. When people see you bringing value into their lives, they will genuinely praise and recommend you.
5. Great webinars continue after ending the video conference.
A webinar is as great as what comes after the end. You’ve put effort into preparing the webinar during the presentation to deliver your best material in the best possible way, but don’t forget that there is another step. The follow-up is as necessary as the rest of the process.
Thank your participants. Use whatever channel of communication you see fit — a simple yet efficient way of maintaining contact with your audience.
Solve unanswered questions. If you owe some answers to your audience, make sure to keep your word and send the requested information. Send additional resources like articles, statistics, books if they have come up during the webinar and benefit your audience.
Send a webinar recap. The video-conferencing platformSessions, for example, offers you the possibility to end your webinar with Takeaways, a tool in which you highlight the most relevant information from every segment. Should the participants choose to register, they will receive via email the webinar’s takeaways and the notes they privately took during the webinar in My Notes.
Sessions is a great tool that offers even more features and functionalities that could get your webinars to the next level. Here are some ways in which you can effortlessly hold a 250-guest webinar with Sessions:
No questions lost
Speakers sometimes ask you to save all your questions for the Q&A sections because otherwise, they get lost in the chat and remain unanswered.
Sessions solves this problem by designing a tool intuitively named Questionswhere Attendees can submit questions. No need to scroll through tons of conversations in chat; you’ll find all the questions in one place. Clicking one of them brings it up on the screen for all to see; it gets marked as answered when bringing it down from the screen.
However, you can always bring back an answered question to add more to it.
Easy access for guests
You can invite guests either by adding their email addresses or via a link you individually share via other channels of communication.
Participants are required to fill in their names when entering, and they’re ready to join your free webinar. There is no need to download apps, sign up/in, or create an account.
However, should they register, they’ll receive via email the personal notes they took in the platform’s My Notes tool and the sessions’ Takeaways.
It’s also easier for you as a webinar host: youcreate your contact list and add them into groups. If you know that you’ll be working with the same people again, grouping them will make it easier to invite them all to your webinars simultaneously.
It’s no easy task to have people willingly engage in your webinars. However, Sessions makes it look easy with Forms, the native surveying tool, or the interactions withSlidoandMentimeter.
It’s easier than ever to have active participants and for you to know their feedback in real time!
Here are all the things you should know about designing an excellent webinar. Now let’s get to work! Apply all the information gathered here and use innovative platforms like Sessions to ensure the success of your webinar!